Why pro-Embankment stadium petition will not be accepted by Peterborough City Council - and why petition organiser still says it is important

A petition in favour of building a new stadium on Peterborough’s Embankment will not be accepted by Peterborough City Council despite attracting nearly 3,000 signatures - but the petition organiser has said it is still important.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 4:59 am
A proposed overview of the site.

The controversial scheme would see the 19,400 capacity stadium - which along with Peterborough United football matches would also be used for concerts and other events - built on the land by the river.

Two petitions have been set up after it was revealed there were plans to build a stadium at the Embankment - one in favour of the plans, and one against.

The petition set to protest against the plans was set up on October 11, and in a month has so far gathered 861 signatures.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The second petition, in favour of the development, was set up last week, and has gathered 2,826 signatures.

The anti-stadium petition was set up on Peterborough City Council’s website, and people who sign the petition have give information about where they live, or if they work or study in Peterborough.

However, the pro-stadium petition was set up using the change.org site, where people who sign the petition do not have to give information about their connections to the city.

Peterborough City Council’s constitution says: “To qualify as a petition the submission must meet certain criteria. The petition must:

“Clearly state the concern or problem to be addressed.

●”Clearly state what the Council is being asked to do.

●”Must be relevant to a function that the Council has a responsibility for and/or directly affects Peterborough inhabitants.

“State who the lead petitioner is and include their contact details.

”Must not concern a planning, licensing or verge parking application or decision.

“Must not be similar to, or a duplicate of a petition submitted within the previous 12 months. Past petitions can be viewed on our website https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/council/consultations/petitions/.

“Contain at least 20 names, address and signatures of people living, working or studying in the area.

“3.2 If the petition does not contain 20 signatures it can still be considered if the issue relates to a small local area. Further information is available from Democratic Services, Town Hall, Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HG 01733 747474 or by emailing [email protected]

“3.3 The address given by those signing the petition must be within the Peterborough City Council area. People who work or study in Peterborough and are affected by the subject of the petition must use the address of their place of work or study to be counted. Email address are also required for online petitions.”

For more information about rules around petitions and Peterborough City Council visit https://democracy.peterborough.gov.uk/documents/s44890/Part%205%20Section%209%20Petition%20Scheme%20-%20Version%20007.pdf

However, while the petition will not be accepted by Peterborough City Council, Adi Mowles, a long time Posh fan and chairman of the PISA 2000 supporters group, who organised the petition, said it was still important.

He said; “Thank you for signing the petition, atm you have been joined by over 2300 others, however, we need to double that number to really ram home how important this facility will be for our great city and not just for Posh fans. This is what the opposition fail to understand. They make fun of the petition by gloating they did one on the PCC site and claim that’s the only one worth anything. I am aware of that option but it is postcode based and so due to the fact that as an estimated 30% of Posh live outside of the city they’d not be recognised on the PCC petition it is pointless at this stage. We are trying to make PCC aware of the overwhelming support for the arena from Posh fans and non Posh fans, so please persuade your family and friends to sign it if they agree. We really would like to hit the 5000 mark so if all of you managed to get 10 relatives or friends to sign it would make a massive difference. Share away and make a difference. Thank You.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said: “We had received a request to set up a ‘pro-stadium’ petition last week, which was then withdrawn as there was another petition online (outside of our scheme) that already existed.

“We went back to the lead petitioner and confirmed that if they were referring to the change.org petition, it is likely that this would not be accepted within the council’s required criteria. This is because change.org doesn’t tend to collect information on addresses, so we can’t validate signatures.

“The lead petition has been invited to resubmit their petition through the scheme on our website in order for it to be accepted.”